The luxury yacht market remains buoyant in 2023, with the latest data from BOATPro revealing that yacht brokerage sales hit a record monthly total in May with a value of 863.2 million euros. Yacht brokers state that demand continues to outpace supply, especially in the run-up to the 2023 summer season. If you’re planning on buying a luxury yacht, then read our yacht buying guide to help you navigate the fast-moving superyacht market.
What should I consider when searching for luxury yachts for sale?
Budget and Financing
It goes without saying that you’ll need to determine your budget for purchasing a luxury superyacht. You will need to consider not only the initial purchase price but also the ongoing costs of operation, maintenance, crew, insurance, berthing, and any additional customization or refitting you may desire. Ensure you have a comprehensive understanding of the financial commitment and explore financing options if needed. Expect yearly operational costs to be around 10% of the boat’s value.
Once you’ve set your budget, you’ll want to decide on the type and size of the superyacht that suits your needs and preferences, which will help narrow down your luxury yacht for sale search. Those seeking enhanced comfort will likely opt for a motorboat, while adventure-seekers may settle on an expedition vessel or even a sailboat.
Size is an important consideration, with many first-time yacht buyers opting for a yacht below 300 gross tons, meaning they are classified as pleasure vessels in the US. This means fewer regulations and their smaller size makes them more cost-effective to operate and maneuver.
Other factors to consider include the vessel’s intended use, the number of guests and crew members you wish to accommodate, the desired amenities and onboard facilities, and the cruising range and capabilities of the yacht. Don’t forget to also consider the yacht’s draft; if you plan on using your boat in shallow waters, you’ll want to opt for a yacht with a shallow draft.
New vs. Pre-Owned
Evaluate whether to purchase a new-build superyacht or a pre-owned one. Each option has its pros and cons. A new-build yacht allows for customization and the latest technological features, but it involves a longer construction timeline. A pre-owned yacht may offer immediate availability and cost savings, but it may require additional maintenance and refitting.
There are yachts, and then there are pedigree yachts! Research the reputation and track record of the yacht builder or shipyard. Yachts built by pedigree shipyards, such as Lurssen, Amels, and Feadship, are likely to hold their value and are always sought-after, both in the pre-owned sales and charter markets. Look for yachts built by well-established, reputable shipyards with a history of building high-quality superyachts.
Condition and Survey
For pre-owned yachts, conduct a thorough inspection and survey to assess their condition. Hire a qualified marine surveyor specializing in superyachts to examine the vessel’s structure, systems, and equipment. A comprehensive survey will help identify any existing issues or potential problems, allowing you to make an informed decision and negotiate the purchase price if necessary.
Legal and Tax Considerations
It’s essential that you understand the legal and tax implications associated with owning a superyacht. Consult with professionals specializing in yacht ownership, such as maritime lawyers and tax advisors, to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and optimize tax efficiency based on your intended use and location of the yacht.
If you plan to charter your yacht to offset costs or generate income, consider the charter potential of the boat. Research the demand for charters in your desired cruising areas, the reputation of the yacht for chartering, and the applicable regulations and requirements for commercial operation. As noted, superyachts built by leading shipbuilders are always sought-after on the charter market.
Whether you are browsing pre-owned luxury yachts for sale or considering building your own superyacht, you’ll want to engage the services of a reputable yacht broker who specializes in superyachts. A knowledgeable broker can provide valuable insights, guide you through the buying process, assist with negotiations, and ensure all necessary paperwork and documentation are in order.
Author: Joanna Lewis
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